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The African Darter often swims with only its neck above water. This gives it the common name of snakebird.
Unlike other waterbirds, the feathers of the African Darter do not contain oil to keep it waterproof. Because of this, the bird is less buoyant which enhances its diving capabilities.
After diving for fish, the feathers can become waterlogged. In order to fly and maintain heat insulation it needs to dry its feathers.